Pay parking and delivery bays set for Wisbech Market Place as preferred scheme is chosen

PAY parking spaces and delivery bays could be open in Wisbech market place within 12 months. Additional disabled spaces will also be created in streets off the market place, as the decade-long saga finally draws closer to a conclusion. Fenland Traffic Man

PAY parking spaces and delivery bays could be open in Wisbech market place within 12 months.

Additional disabled spaces will also be created in streets off the market place, as the decade-long saga finally draws closer to a conclusion.

Fenland Traffic Management Area Joint Committee chose the scheme - referred to as option two - at its meeting on Friday.

It is also the preferred option of Fenland District Council and of traders, and was chosen after a public consultation showed a "relatively narrow" preference.


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Option one was for no parking in the market place and access by foot, with blue badge bays remaining and access for delivery drivers by signs and barriers.

Councillor John West said: "I would like to get on with the job and propose option two."

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Councillor Phil Webb added: "This is the same option that was before us a year ago. I certainly go along with this option."

Traffic area manager John Richards said resources can be committed in next year's budget to introduce the changes.

Public consultations attracted 400 responses and saw 58 per cent of people prefer option two to option one. Respondents felt option one would make the market place safer, but there was more support for option two from blue badge holders.

Mr Richards said: "More people expressed marginally stronger feelings about the potential impact of option one than option two."

Wisbech Town Council also voted unanimously in support of option two.

THE AGREED SCHEME

• The Horsefair side of the Market Place will be closed to traffic.

• On non-market days, shoppers will be able to park on the south side of the market place. There will be one-hour parking bays on the south side of the market place, which people will have to pay for.

• There will be the same parking for blue badge holders at one end of the Market Place as there is at the moment, but these spaces will also be restricted to one hour. Additional blue badge parking will be provided in some nearby streets.

• Delivery drivers will be able to park on the south side of the market place in unloading bays. Evening parking will be free.

• During market and event days there will be no access including delivery drivers.

YOUR COMMENTS

AT last it seems like the long running saga of our Market Place, which I have on more than one occasion publicly described to Fenland councillors as second only in longevity to 'The Mouse Trap', is to be resolved.I well remember that when I was Mayor in 2001-2 I felt so strongly about the potentially-dangerous daily chaos that existed in the Market Place that I called a public meeting.I explained to a packed audience that I was not personally trying to tell those in authority what to do but I just wanted all concerned (including Fenland District Council, Wisbech Town Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, our MP and police) to get together and sort out the problem, particularly in view of the ever-increasing daily confrontations between motorists and pedestrians.Now some 10 years later a scheme has been agreed upon, and I for one am delighted and would personally congratulate the AJC on reaching what I too consider to be the better of the two final options.Not only did Wisbech Town Council vote unanimously for option two but it was basically the innovative scheme that they put forward in the first place!And most of the credit for this must go to its 'designer', former town councillor Anne Carlisle, who has been sorely missed since she left the Fenland and Town Council Chambers.CLLR ROGER GREEN

ONCE again our council has allowed the car to overrule the pedestrians’ health and safety.Surely their residents’ and visitors’ health and safety is more important than pampering to the motorists’ unwilling-to-walk lobby.Did the council consider the impact on pedestrians of the movement of vehicles into and out of the parking spaces? I very much doubt this or they would, on the grounds of health and safety, reject this option.With an estimated 30 pay parking spaces plus blue badge parking this would mean somewhere near 60 movements per hour along High Street or Hill Street. During the working day this could be 400-plus movements in addition to delivery drivers’ movements.This amount of pollution and danger to shoppers will surly stop people (other than those parking) from shopping or visiting the area. In the long term the shops will lose more trade than they gain.Let’s hope that at the Fenland Cabinet meeting next month councillors are more considerate of the pedestrians’ needs and health and safety.JOHN KNIGHT

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